Margaret Clarke had always been very fond of reading. At the bottom of her garden, she had her own small summerhouse, and when the warm weather came, she would put her favourite books there, immaculately arranged, each labelled ‘M. Clarke. Her book’, in her clear, round handwriting. She would bring some comfortable floral cushions, and her cup of tea, and spend many happy hours there.
On one of the first spring evenings of the year, when the light lasts, and the winds become gentle and warm, Margaret had spent a pleasant evening reading in her summerhouse. She popped indoors, and when she came back to the summerhouse, cup of tea in hand, she was astonished to see a hedgehog inside. More surprising still, the hedgehog had borrowed her book, and was standing, one small foot weighing down either page, avidly reading.
Now Margaret, being a wise and sympathetic girl, well knew the spell that a good book can cast. So she did not disturb the hedgehog. Instead, she watched for a few minutes, then quietly crept away. And later, when the hedgehog had gone, she took the next two books in the series from her shelf, and put them carefully beside the first one.